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Admission office on diversity report: "Who among us is doing well?"

Dean of Admission Ray Brown says increased diversity is a major focus of the university, but several factors play into low minority enrollment

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Every prospective student's application goes through here, the Mary Wright Admission Center. Photo courtesy of TCU Magazine online. Dean of Admission Ray Brown. Photo courtesy of TCU Magazine online.

Although the university lacks an extremely diverse student body, it is not due to lack of effort or innovation on the part of the Office of Admission, said Dean of Admission Ray Brown. Instead, he said he believes it may be due to a variety of other factors.

Two weeks ago, SGA's commission on diversity released a 26-page report exploring the lack of diversity on TCU's campus. The report found TCU to be an "institution which does not always prioritize or specify its diversity-related goals."

Brown said he disagreed, stating that diversity is one of the three main goals that the admission office is constantly focusing on in order to make campus as diversified and scholarly as possible.

“We have three objectives: more men, more students of color, more high achievers," Brown said. "Those three are interchangeable.” 

Michael Marshall, the chancellor's intern and former assistant director of the admissions office, said that while diversity is critical, it is also important to make sure that every student maintains their individuality no matter their race or creed.

"Each student wants to be treated as uniquely as their TCU ID. Race is important, but it’s like ‘I am my own person,’" Marshall said. "It’s important not to put any student in a box.”

Brown said that while the university's levels of diversity may not be the highest, he said he questions whether this is a university issue or a problem that is occurring at institutions nationwide.

“The question I ask is: 'Who among us is doing well?'" he said.

Brown provided statistics that showed TCU is very similar to other prominent schools in terms of a diverse population. The full documents provided can be found here.

In addition, Brown said minority students with strong resumes are the most highly desired individuals for colleges across the nation and therefore have the option to attend many other prestigious universities.

“Students of color are the most highly sought-after students in America," he said. "So the students who are getting into TCU these days, particularly the students of color, can pretty much go wherever they like.”

Brown did point out one issue he had with the report, which stated that white students are accepted at four times the rate of African-American students. He said the real difference in acceptance rate sits at around 1.4, and the rate at which prospective white students enroll is around 4 times the rate of prospective black students.

Brown said that the admission office is trying new things and introducing new methods to get a more diverse population to be interested in and apply for TCU.

“If you have a good idea, we will give it a shot," Brown said. "Over time we have done a number of things that have worked pretty well and a number of things that haven’t.”

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